Villagers are embracing a proposal to have the Amenity Authority Committee revive Katie Belle’s and return dining and dancing to residents.
Community Development District 2 Supervisor Jim Cipollone has raised the idea of the AAC using its money and authority to revive Katie Belle’s as an amenity. His suggestion came on the eve of a Lady Lake Commission meeting in which The Villages was expected to attempt to ram through its plan for seven age-restricted apartments at the Van Patten House at Spanish Springs Town Square.
“I wholeheartedly support the idea of reviving Katie Belle’s. It was a great place to take guests or to have a date night with my wife. When we went there we totally enjoyed the experience. I think the idea of apartments is absurd,” said Don Atkinson, a resident of the Village of Santo Domingo.
Cipollone’s proposal has prompted many to remember the golden years of Katie Belle’s, which The Villages officially closed in 2020, blaming COVID-19.
“I support the idea of the AAC reviving Katie Belle’s. I feel that they should give Katie Belle’s back to The Villagers for what it was intended for not for renting out apartments for who knows who will living in them. The restaurant and the dance hall were an excellent place for entertainment and fine food,” said Villager Tom Hickman.
Villager Pat Kress said the secret to making Katie Belle’s successful again would be treating it like a true amenity and only admitting Villagers with Villages IDs.
“The Spanish Springs square is really going downhill as there is a lot of alcohol being abused by outsiders. Katie Belle’s was only intended for the Village people by showing their ID cards to get in. Completely different crowd attended,” Kress said.
Twenty-year resident of The Villages Lorraine Martin is all for the AAC reclaiming Katie Belle’s on behalf of residents.
“The AAC should devise a plan to keep Katie Belle’s as an amenity for the residents. The Villages is destroying the north end of The Villages. They are all about greed now that the older owners have passed away. It is a shame at what they are doing,” Martin said.
Cheryl Seyfert of the Santo Domingo Villas applauded Cipollone for coming up with a creative idea for bringing back Katie Belle’s.
“Finally, a reasonable solution to reviving Spanish Springs Town Square. The revival of Katie Belle’s, rather than apartments. It would give us the desired place to go, help guarantee music in the area, and return us to the golden days of why we bought homes in the area,” Seyfert said.
“We need to support this idea and bring it to fruition! Bravo to the wisdom of the people!” she said.